Joy Sliver, the major Democratic candidate for the 28th State Senate seat, came to Idyllwild last week. Attending the Idyllwild Indivisibles’ April 19 meeting at Town Hall, Silver described her path to candidacy challenging incumbent Sen. Jeff Stone, and several of her positions and goals if elected.
“I’ve evolved from an advocate to an activist to a candidate,” she said. Before coming to Palm Springs, she had been a long-time advocate for LGBT issues and developed and built housing for the elderly.
After the 2016 election, she helped found and organize Courageous Resistance in the Coachella Valley communities. Initially, it focused on broadening the presence of sanctuary cities in the desert, but it has lobbied for other progressive issues. In late summer 2017, she announced her candidacy for the state Senate seat.
Silver spoke about being the progressive candidate on the ballot, what that means in today’s world and what she would do in Sacramento if elected. “I’ve chosen to stand up and get something done,” she said firmly and directly to the audience.
She began with a strong advocacy for educational issues. She said, “Education is important. You can’t decrease crime and have a good economy without education.”
Silver’s campaign has a strong principle that education is the foundation for society. “What causes crime?” she asked rhetorically. Then responded, “No opportunities for education, which limits job opportunities. You don’t stop crime by locking people up.”
She stated that the California Teachers Association have endorsed her and she supports them. “Teachers are the most important people in our society,” she said.
Her professional background includes healthcare and housing, particularly for seniors and the LGBT community.
“Healthcare and housing for the homeless are also what makes me a progressive,” she stated. She discussed her experience with homeless individuals and the reasons homelessness can happen.
When asked about her thoughts on single-payer healthcare insurance, Silver carefully described its benefits; but she also made the point that it is a complex policy.
For example, electronic health records will become more important, especially in areas without hospital support. Accessing these records quickly will require a speedy and dependable Internet, she cautioned. So, single-payer health insurance will require support from many other areas.
“What I can bring to single-payer discussion is [that] how you make it work is not an easy answer. Do we have enough doctors? Student loans are substantial and if doctors can’t repay them, they won’t stay in California,” she said, offering examples of the complexity of this issue.
She also expressed her support for gun control. The evening before the April 20 student walk-on anniversary of the Columbine shooting, Silver noted, “Students are doing this not for just their future, but to have a future.”